Indonesian quake toll reaches 1,100

Indonesian quake toll reaches 1,100

A van wrecked by the earthquake in Padang Pariaman, West Sumatra, Indonesia on Thursday. AP

The 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck on Wednesday, hours after a more powerful one and a resulting tsunami ravaged some islands in the South Pacific.

UN Under Secretary General John Holmes, chief of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said at UN headquarters in New York that teams of relief workers have been deployed to the regions hit by the natural disaster. The cities of Padang, with a population of one million, and Pariaman in West Sumatra were worst hit.

"There has been no information on the situation on the large island of Mentawi, while it is feared that the impact of the quake on the island is significant," Holmes said.
Local news reports from the region put the death toll differently or much lower than the UN estimates in some areas.

Holmes said a mission comprising several UN agencies has been sent to Padang while the UN Development Programme has provided $100,000 to Jakarta.

Holmes also gave an update on the situation in the South Pacific, with 146 deaths in Samoa, seven  deaths in Tonga and 19 deaths in American Samoa, which were hit by a tsunami that was triggered by an 8.5-magnitude earthquake.

He said the number of deaths is expected to climb in those islands.
"The number of people affected in Samoa is much greater and the need is considerable," Holmes said.

He said the situation in Tonga appeared under control with the arrival of the Tonga Navy and the Red Cross' relief items were already in place.